This is THE STEM-education automotive maker camp for girls who are curious about cars, how they work, and those who make them.
Our team will be showcasing how to plan, build, and wrench as we move our fabrication shop online with project-based learning.
Each week we will interview female STEM role models, explore career possibilities, discover mechanical marvels, have fun contests and give away great prizes!
What do the girls learn by attending this program?
FABcamp is our premier camp that lasts the entire month of July. Granted, we meet on Wednesday for five hours, but we give fun assignments and contest that really spark your imagination. We are very lucky to have leading industry experts talking to you and teaching our different education tracks. Our hope is that attending the camp will give you a nugget of information that arouses your curiosity and makes you want to explore more.
How do you choose the building projects for fab camp?
Last year it was the suggestion of one of the members of the board of advisors. We had been talking over different ways of providing hands-on training for the team (pre-Covid). He mentioned he had a spare motor and a pile of parts. From that we came up with the idea of creating the drift trike. Thanks to the inventive mind of Colin Furze we had great examples to watch and emulate.
This year we’re taking a totally different approach. We are entering the Ingenuity Cup, an international competition that requires focusing on innovation. From that we have been brainstorming ideas of a robotic transportation-based machine that fills an immediate need that our team has recognized.
This year everyone at FABcamp is going to watch us building this prototype. What we have imagined so far in our brainstorming is a device that can be used across multiple industries. It is going to be fun to watch this come to life. It’s not going to be a shiny fancy finished product, it is going to be a beginning-stage prototype.
How much work is associated with attending FABcamp?
It depends upon how much you want to be involved. If you are competing for the grand champion prize, it requires commitment and being a member! Each day of camp you’re given assignments to complete before the next day of camp the following week. These are fun assignments like: designing the camp t-shirt, or designing the custom wrap of the Athena Racing kart, or creating a video us to use in a marketing campaign. Each assignment is a fun way of learning about business and developing skills that will help you with your first job or give you a portfolio pieces to use on your resume.
Do you think fab camp can help girls do well in the upcoming school year?
Absolutely! Everything that we do at Athena Racing helps to build upon the knowledge base that you are acquiring from going to school. We are teaching you the necessary essential skills that expand your mindset and help you reach your full potential.
What types of jobs to the guest speakers have?
Our guest speakers come from a variety of career tracks within the transportation industries. We do our best to find female stem role models, although we also rely on men in these industries to help teach. Our goal is to show you all of the different paths and job opportunities that are available. The key to finding your path through life is having the choice and options. Our speakers this year range from designers in the automotive industry to engineers that work with corporations that support the automotive industry.
What is your main inspiration behind creating FABcamp?
I think that it is important for girls in middle school and high school to have the hands-on training. Although we’re doing everything virtually, I hope that you can see the experience of something being built and have a better idea of how to do it. By having those of us who have been building it talk to you about it and answer your questions it gives you a better knowledge base than just watching a YouTube video. There are so many nuances that you have to learn about being in the shop and how to handle tools and how to build. It can be a very daunting task to walk into a shop with zero experience. I am hoping this makes everyone more confident with being able to conceptualize an idea and then go into a workshop and build a prototype.
Do the participants need any kind of previous experiences or qualifications to be part of the program?
No, you do not need previous experience! We are teaching this so that those with zero experience and those with a lot of experience will get something out of are fabrication project. Last year’s FABcamp helped to introduce the possibilities within the automotive and transportation industry to young girls who had never considered it. I think it’s important at your young age to try everything because you never know what you’re going to love until you’ve actually tried it. I know there’s a lot of peer pressure do you want to do one thing or another, but it’s really important to try it yourself without the bias of others. Once you’ve tried it yourself you have that experience and understanding, so even if you don’t like it you’ll understand what others are experiencing when they do it. If you fall in love with it, that is even better!
Hey how is FABcamp different from Athena Racing’s other camps?
FABcamp is our premiere camp and this is our second year of offering it to students. When the global pandemic shut down the world last year, our team immediately pivoted to 100% online in order to be able to offer this camp.
This camp is so intensive and so much fun. This year we will focus on our 8 of 15 education tracks that we teach, introduce you to STEM role models, and show you all of the opportunities available in the transportation industry. We also have fun experiences of exploring mechanical marvels and experience wrenching on a project.
What types of prizes can the participants win?
This year we will be giving away prizes each day of camp that range from Athena Racing merchandise to gift cards.
The big prize is what everyone competes for! Those who participate in the competition get points for the projects that they turn in. The grand champion will win an iPad! The 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive loaded Amazon gift cards that they can use to buy school supplies for next year.
Last year’s winner Mihika, is always quizzed by her classmates about her fancy and personalized iPad that she won!
How has FABcamp kept girls connected despite the pandemic?
Athena Racing has created an incredible online community filled with like-minded, STEM-loving, female students in middle school and high school from across the USA. I’ve watched the members grow over the past year. Our events keep the core members connected with each other. As they say, you get out of it what you put into it. Those girls who are devoted to our club reap the benefits. I have watched our members become friends with each other online, girls who would’ve never met each other otherwise. See, there is a silver lining to Covid! Our members are already connecting and networking with other students. Who knows, you may cross paths in your career years from now!
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